Ph.D. in Education: STEM Education

World-Improving Research and Creativity

Students will develop expertise in mathematics or science education by studying and engaging in research on how students think and learn in these content areas. This high-quality program prepares candidates to engage in interdisciplinary collaborations and research.

The STEM Education area of emphasis prepares educators to pursue higher education careers or leadership positions in mathematics or science education. Specializations include:

  • Elementary mathematics education (K-8)
  • Secondary mathematics education (7-12)
  • Elementary science education (K-8)
  • Secondary science education (7-12)

Candidates will develop expertise in mathematics or science education by studying and engaging in research on how students think and learn in these content areas. This high-quality program prepares candidates to engage in interdisciplinary collaborations and research. It allows candidates to work collaboratively with faculty to develop an individualized program of study based on their area(s) of interest. This program is flexible for both the working professional and full-time students. Graduate assistantships and financial aid may be available.

The STEM Education area of emphasis is guided by the general framework found in the Doctoral Program in Education Application Manual. The manual provides general information about doctoral concentrations offered in the College of Education. This page will provide you with specific information that is unique to the STEM Education strand.

Rolling Admissions Deadline

The College of Education has application deadlines for Spring (November 15) and Fall (July 15)

Program Information

  • Admissions

    Our program operates on rolling admissions and reviews applications year-round; however, the Graduate School has application deadlines for Spring (November 15) and Fall (July 15). If you miss the Graduate School deadline, you may still apply to be a Graduate Special to begin taking coursework for your intended first semester. Materials and criteria for the STEM Education area of emphasis are as follows:

    • Undergraduate and graduate GPA of 3.00 or higher
    • At least three years of teaching experience
    • Graduate Record Exam score (GRE)
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Statement of Intent that includes a Philosophy of Education
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • One sample of scholarly writing
    • Program application, checklist, and signed disposition form (last 5 pages in the Application Manual)


    To get started on the application process, please contact Teruni Lamberg, program coordinator, at terunil@unr.edu. Your main program application, checklist, and signed disposition form must be scanned and emailed to coe@unr.edu with the subject line "Application Materials for STEM Education PhD." You may also print and mail them to:

    College of Education Doctoral Program Coordinator
    Mail Stop 278
    University of Nevada, Reno
    Reno, NV 89557-0278

    All other materials must be sent through the University's application portal. Once you create your account, go back to MyNevada to log in and start your application. You must apply to both the College of Education and to the Graduate School. Please reach out to Dr. Lamberg if you have any questions.

  • Program Structure

    The Ph.D in Education with a concentration in STEM Education is a research-oriented degree intended for educators who wish to advance their study in elementary mathematics education, secondary mathematics education, elementary science education, or secondary science education. Students may select either subject as their key research focus and take STEM courses of interests in a cognate area that can include engineering education. This degree program prepares students to advance their K-12 careers (teaching or curriculum leadership), pursue education-related positions at the state or national levels, or earn a tenure-track professorship in higher education.

    The full-time track is intended to be completed in three years, but the program also exercises flexibility for working professionals with part-time options that allow for evening courses. Students get to work closely with faculty mentors to develop an individualized course of study and area of research. A minimum of 96 credits are required beyond the baccalaureate degree, which includes 24 credits of dissertation. At least 30 credits of 700-level courses, exclusive of dissertation credits, are required for this degree. As many as 18 credits of 700-level course work may be used from a master's degree program. Degree requirements must be completed within eight years of admission to the program.

  • Tuition, Cost, and Graduate Assistantships

    Please see the University tuition and fee rates for information regarding costs and financial aid. Graduate assistantships are available  through various departments in the College of Education. Prospective students who indicate their interest in a graduate assistantship will  be interviewed for one of multiple positions within the department following their application. Several highlights of a graduate  assistantship include:

    • 20-hour work week
    • Stipend of approximately $1700/month (before taxes)
    • Tuition fee waiver (does not include fees such as room/board, textbooks, etc.)
    • Health insurance coverage through United Healthcare
    • In-state Nevada resident status
    • Funding to present at conferences through the support of the Graduate Student Association